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Tips for Small Businesses during Quarantine

Running a business right now while being forced to quarantine ourselves from spreading COVID-19 is scary!  Planning for uncertainty is HARD.  Here is how we approached our business to find peace during the struggle.

Remember you are not alone!  Please reach out to us.  We are here to help!

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Podcast Transcript

Hello! Welcome to a brand new episode of Raney Day Talks podcast. I’m Jennifer Sakowski hoping that you’re listening to this and you are someplace that you are safe and quarantined at home with your loved ones and not out amongst this crazy virus that we’re all fighting right now. I wanted to pop on and record this episode because, in the midst of all this crazy, there are a few steps that I’m taking within Raney Day Design that’s provided me a lot of peace. Knowing we’re getting hit with the lockdown in companies, tightening up their expenses and evaluating where they’re spending costs. And I know that other businesses in our community that is having to shut down storefronts, coffee shops that are being affected and my heart goes out to them. I felt the need to share the steps that we’re taking to provide service, but also some peace during this time.

Assess Your Finances

First thing when all of this is hitting and we’re in such uncharted territory, the first thing that I took to was to assess our finances. That’s the number one thing because we are a business and we do have overhead, we do have costs and we do have subscriptions and software that we have to pay for to manage our customers. I checked our finances then made a list of what we can let go immediately. Here’s our contingency plan. Here it is. This is the reality. So number one thing, I encourage you right now, if you’re just not sure where to turn, look to your finances. Make smart decisions. Meaning this is now not the time to be ordering any supplies or any extra office expenses online.

Put a seize on any spending if you can also just tighten up on your employee/ team hours. Right now, nothing extra, no overtime, nothing. We are maintaing, no major changes, no hiring, no anything. We’re just going to maintain.

Communicate With Your Team

Number two is to communicate with your team. That was the immediate next step. Once I got a picture of, okay we, we are very blessed, we are okay right now and this is how we’re going to operate. Then, I checked in with my team. I really encourage you, if you do have an online team, if you have an in-person team, pick up the phone and call them, check in on your team. Make sure because let’s face it, I mean how we handle these types of situations as leaders affect our teams. It affects them not only in the office but personally. Since this is such a scary time, why should we add any more stress?

Let’s keep our heads about ourselves and be a positive force for them. Check-in on each individually. We have a global team, so making sure that where they are, that they’re safe, their loved ones are safe and what are they doing to take care of themselves is the priority. Then randomly checking in on them going forward. During our check-ins, we created a priority list for our projects and what needs to get done now and what can we focus on. How can we be a positive force for our falling online and just what we’re putting it out online.

Communicate With Your Clients

The third thing was to communicate with our clients, we sent a mass email out to see how we could support them. We also asked if we can put up a notice on their site, and enquired what can we do?

Like I said, I can feel the heaviness of what’s happening because we’re a small business and so we’re trying to look at creative ways that we can help our clients. How can we help our clients with their clients? If you haven’t already communicated with your customers, check-in with them, see how they’re doing because let me tell you that support, that contact with them now will speak volumes about your business. Now’s not the time to be increasing prices or trying to make bigger sales. At least that’s my stake on it now’s the time to support because the people who support people, who help each other, they’re going to remember that once this gets done. Take the higher road. Take, the positive approach, do the right thing. I don’t know, pick one, but just check in on your customers.

See how you can be helpful for them. Get creative. I think the more that we help one another, the better that we’re all going to be.

Make the Most of this Time

Number four was making the most of it. If you are in a position that you are solo- entrepreneur, maybe it’s just you in the business, maybe you could afford to just halt, work right now and truly quarantine yourself. And if so, take this time to work on your business. Maybe you haven’t fully set up a budget, maybe you haven’t taken that course that you purchased three months ago. There are so many online resources right now that are posting courses and training. It’s unreal. Take advantage of the time. Do the right thing. Lay low and learn. Grow your business within the inside. Maybe it’s content, have you put together a schedule and let’s just be clear, if you haven’t already planned out your content now, it’s probably a good time to make sure that what you have out is still relevant.

That probably should be another point is how are you being relevant right now? Definitely make sure campaigns that are running right now are really relevant. Look how you can grow. What internal projects that you’ve laid off. Right now, our priority is our customers and their projects, but we also know that it’s pretty quiet right now. So what projects that we’ve let go of or haven’t been a priority in our own business that we need to pick up on. We’re always needing to work on our own website, our own content, our own processes. What processes do you have in place? If once things level out and you’re able to get back to working and scaling your business, what processes can you establish now or right to prepare for that growth later?

I think it comes down to having an abundance mindset. Yes. We don’t know what’s going to happen.  We truly don’t know. So let’s have the attitude of let’s make the best of it and let’s plan for the future when it does get back to normal and maybe whatever that new normal may be. I also wrote down, maybe you just need to be still. I am the worst at this. I do not sit. I host a book club for some girlfriends every month and we decided to have it online using zoom. And even in my swivel chair, I have a little one of those pedestal chairs. And right now I’m moving around. I don’t sit still very well and sometimes I think things happen to get your attention to just be still. So that’s a challenge that I’m having for my own self. To be still. Be still with the kiddos. Let’s just sit down and put a puzzle together. Let’s sit down and watch a movie. Let’s just sit down at the table and talk. What can I do with them? So maybe this time if you can afford to just be still, do it. Rest, read. Take time to focus on your home. If you have small humans at home, God bless you. I know the struggle is real. I’m here for you. But take this time. I mean, how often do we say, I wish I had more time at home. I wish I could clean out that closet. Or like I’m looking around my office and I got piles out of view of the camera and thinking, man, I really need to get, get ahold of that. Now’s the time to do it. Pull out all the games, pull out the movies you haven’t seen, shoot plays, some video games, whatever it is, just give yourself some grace and do it. If you’ve done all the above, you’re financial, you’re okay or stable or that you know that you can make do and you’re able to communicate with your clients, your team, and then just sit back and make the most of it.

That’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to remain positive, limiting time on social media, limited time watching the news and taking the time to reach out to friends, family, God bless. I mean if you think about where we are now, where we have been, we have Skype, we have FaceTime, we have zoom, we have free tools that we can actually pick up and have that FaceTime online with someone. I think that’s incredible and I think it’s an underused tool, so I challenge you if you’re feeling a little stir crazy, pick up your phone and call somebody, FaceTime somebody, Skype somebody.

I hope this finds you healthy. I hope this is helpful for you and just realizing that there are tactical steps that we can take right now. Let’s keep a level head. Let’s not panic and honestly wash your hands and lean on Jesus because things are out of our control right now. We can only control so much, focus on the good.

I hope this is helpful for you and I love to start a conversation online about what’s going on or what you’re doing today.